Member News

Whistleblowing in Italy and Europe: the EU Directive on Whistleblowing

The Italian whistleblowing reporting system (“Whistleblowing”) is regulated by Law no. 179 of 2017 (“Law”). In particular, the Law introduced new forms of protection for employees (in private and public companies) who report illicit acts occurred inside their company. According to this Law, employees may inform companies when he or she becomes aware of a violation of the Law no. 231/2001 system and/or the company ethic code and his or her identity will be protected. The law also introduced an express prohibition to take retaliatory action against the reporting employee.

In April 2019, the European Parliament enacted a Directive on Whistleblowing (“Directive”) that must be adopted in the next two years by each Member State (including Italy). According to the new Directive, all companies that have more than fifty employees shall (1) introduce a system against whistleblowing preserving the identity of reporting agents, and (2) establish a protection of the reporting agent not only in the case he or she is an employee of the company, but also in the case he or she is an advisor, agent, supplier, intern or volunteer.

While waiting for the regulatory action of the Italian legislator, Italian companies with more than fifty employees should be aware of the new requirements introduced by the Directive which will be probably incorporated in the current Italian Law in the next two years.

Compliments of AEM Carnleutti, a member of the EACCNY